Layers of corn tortilla chips, chicken and cheese, all drenched in a luscious tomato cream sauce spiked with Hatch chile peppers. You’ve got yourself a very special Tomato Cream Mexican Chicken Casserole.
This chicken casserole recipe just might be your new family favorite. Hailing from the golden era when casseroles were king and canned soups reigned, this particular recipe calls for it’s own cream sauce, without a can of condensed soup in sight. This is a creation from a Junior League Cookbook, Fiesta, which describes it’s contents as “favorite recipes from South Texas“. It’s an old book that I found at a garage sale and it’s full of comfort food treasures…recipes that found their way to family dinners, church potlucks and neighborhood gatherings…age old crowd pleasers.
The recipe calls for quartering fresh yellow corn tortillas and frying them to make your own corn chips. I did that. It was somewhat of a fussy proposition. If you’re in a hurry, I don’t see why a purchased bag of sturdy yellow corn chips wouldn’t work fine. I would NOT use the thinner and more delicate white corn chips. They may not hold up well as a structure for the layering process. Would probably get pretty soggy.
This casserole also calls for shredded cheddar cheese. I have a new cheese love in my life for Mexican dishes – Muenster, which I used instead.
The sauce is the gold in this casserole. Four cups of tomato juice and a cup of heavy cream. Who needs canned soups with that combo? With cooked and cubed chicken breast you’ve got a delicious old-fashioned, load up your plate treat.
The recipe makes enough to feed an army, so with the two of us, this one indicates that if freezes well. Perfect! I love to have a few freezer meals on hand for those busy weeknights.
Layers of corn tortilla chips, chicken and cheese, all drenched in a luscious tomato cream sauce spiked with Hatch chile peppers. You've got yourself a very special Mexican Chicken Casserole.
- 24 Yellow Corn Tortillas quartered
- 1 cup Vegetable oil
- 2 small Onions chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 4 cups Tomato juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 8 large Hatch chile roasted, skins removed, chopped. Medium Heat works well for this
- 4 Cups Shredded Munster Cheese
- 1 pint Heavy Cream
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless, roasted and then cut into bite sized pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a casserole, add a little liquid, cover and bake about 30 minutes. Once done, let them cool and chop into bite sized pieces.
In the meantime, stack half of the corn tortillas and with a sharp knife, cut through the tortillas to quarter them. Do the same with the rest of the tortillas. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, place as many of the corn tortillas that will fit in the oil and cook until just getting crispy. No need to turn them. With tongs, remove the chips to paper towels and in batches cook the rest of the tortillas. Replenishing the oil as you need.
When all the tortillas are done, wipe out the skillet. Add the butter and the onions and sautee until onions are just turning opaque. About 7 minutes. Add tomato juice, salt, pepper and chopped chiles. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add grated cheese, cream and chicken. Heat until cheese is melted.
In a large casserole (I used my lasagna pan) place 1/3 of the tortilla chips in the bottom. Spread two cups of the chicken cream sauce over the tortillas. Make two more layers like this, ending with the tortilla chips. Any left over liquid in the sauce pan, drizzle over the top layer of corn chips.
Allow to rest 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
In place of fresh roasted Hatch Chile, you can use 2-4 ounce cans chopped green chiles.